Deadly Unna Commentary

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The passage of writing being deconstructed is taken from Phillip Gwynne’s novel, “Deadly Unna? ”, pages 226 to 228, beginning with “The cemetery was surrounded by an old iron fence,…

” concluding with “ ‘Average,’ said Clarence. ”. This passage from the book plays a vital role in the overall novel, as it shows the reader the life of Nunga’s, for the first time, and how they interact with each other and with Gary ‘Blacky’ Black, a Goonya and how the intimidation of the different race makes Blacky feel unwelcome.It is in this scene that Blacky realizes the unethical racism surrounding him and his lifestyle and how corrupt it has become.

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It is through Gwynne’s use of descriptive imagery that the reader can feel the emotion of the quiet, beachside cemetery and the peace of the ceremony. And through the first person narrative that the reader can feel the emotions and peace the surrounds Blacky when looking at Dumby Red. This passage provides a very significant view on the relationship between Gary ‘Blacky’ Black and the other Nungas.The interaction between two races, when their obvious clash can be very conflicting for anybody, even to Blacky.

Even though Blacky considers himself a friend of Dumby Red’s and pays his respects to the Nunga’s loss, Gwynne informs the reader of his discomfort through his thoughts in this passage: “.. I could see Tommy and Sid and a few other people I knew from the footy, but I was the only Goonya there. Nobody said anything to me.

I was starting to feel conspicuous, self-conscious. Maybe Mum was right after all, it was their business, Nungas; business.Nothing to do with me. ” (Deadly Unna? page 226) As the reader was positioned to feel sympathetic towards Blacky’s uneasiness, Gwynne’s mention of nobody talking to him and his feelings of discomfort only signifies the division between the two races that much more, and how they act upon each other.

The intimidation formed by the Nungas towards Blacky as he is now in the Port (their territory) and is now on their side of town away from his home, his family and his comfort zone is very apparent in this passage.The funeral is taken place in the Port, on the other side of town to Blacky’s home. As Blacky is faced by many emotional issues from losing his friend and peer, however the paradise described scenery of the Port seems to calm him from his own thoughts and judgements. “The bay here was shallow.

The tide was rushing out, rivulets of water were winding through the sandbars sticking out like ribs. Egrets were pecking about on them. A couple of pelicans were drifting to shore. In the distance I could see the jetty-.

.. ” (Deadly Unna? page 227)Through the use of visual imagery, mainly focusing on what Blacky could see the reader is placed in a situation where they can see what he is seeing and feels the peace and comfort he is finally feeling. Although sounding beautiful and serene, Blacky also describes the cemetery itself as a dirty chicken hut like area.

“The cemetery was surrounded by and old iron fence, with a gate at one end. The paths inside were covered with shell and grit, like we used to give or chooks to make their eggshells strong. I could see a pile of sand on the other side. Dumby’s grave, I thought.

(Deadly Unna? page 226) This passage not only describes his obvious focus on the differences between his home town and theirs, it also displays the different race separation yet again. Being a Goonya, Gwynne has represented Blacky in being very aware of the vast differences in how the two cultures live and act. When Blacky then describes his view of the Point where him and his friends would often sit “telling each other stories in front of the bar. Wild Nungas with spears, boomerangs that come from nowhere and knock you senseless.

” (Deadly Unna? page 228)Gwynne, notifies the reader of the cultural stereotypes, racism and ‘the unknown’ about the differences between the two. As Blacky has been placed exactly opposite from him friends and comfort to where he is now, to what he understands and feels towards the separation between both communities. In this highly descriptive, emotional passage Gwynne has managed to successfully place the reader exactly where he desired. It is also an extremely significant part of the overall novel finally letting the reader finally feel the Port and its surroundings and the environment which Blacky has never felt before.

Gwynne achieved the through his expressive writing and letting Blacky feel and see what he needed to. It is also a growing point for the the central character, feeling uncomfortable and finally realizing just where this racism has gotten him and his community, Blacky tries to establish where he stands in somebody else’s life and culture. Gwynne’s writings lets the reader feel exactly what they are supposed to become sympathetic and just towards his focal character.

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Deadly Unna Commentary. (2017, May 09). Retrieved from

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